Thomas Pye and Margaret his wife, were the parents of a large family. They lived at Alstone in the parish of Haughton, Staffordshire.
John Pye was their eldest son. John and his wife Joane had seven children. John and Joane died within a month of each other in 1570 and their names are the first records listed in the Haughton burial register.
Alexander was born during the reign of Henry VIII, however, Queen Elizabeth 1 was the ruling monarch throughout the majority of Alexander’s life.
Alexander and his wife Elizabeth had ten children, five of whom died in childhood. Two of their surviving children married. Anne Pye married Humphrey Cox and Thomas Pye married Elizabeth Russell. Alexander Pye was a Yeoman and was a tenant farmer for Sir Ralph Bouchier, the lord of Haughton Manor. Alexander farmed tenements at Brazenhill and other areas within the parish of Haughton.
Alexander was buried on the 4 April, 1595 and Elizabeth was buried on 23 March, 1613.
Baptised 25 May, 1578 Haughton-Buried 26 March, 1629 Haughton.
Thomas was Alexander and Elizabeth Pye’s eldest surviving son. He married Elizabeth Russell on 24 April, 1608 at St Giles church, Haughton. Thomas does not appear in any other records other than the parish registers. Thomas and Elizabeth had two children: Frances Pye who married Robert Cox and John Pye who married Anne.
Baptised 8 July, 1611 at Haughton.
John Pye and his wife Anne had eight children all born in Haughton during the time of England’s Civil War between the Royalists for King Charles 1 and the Roundheads under Oliver Cromwell.
Yeoman John Pye appears to have been quite a successful tenant farmer. His cottage contained a parlour, kitchen and buttery, all with bedroom chambers above, one boasted a featherbed. John owned a dozen or so cattle, 3 mares and a foal, 3 swine and 17 sheep. He grew corn and hay and had an orchard and garden. There was also a weaver’s loom and two spinning wheels in the home which the women in the family used.
When John Pye died he bequeathed money to the parish “to be used to buy shoes for the poorest widows and fatherless children”. Along with the bequests of his two eldest sons, John Jnr and Robert, the Charity that was formed has continued in perpetuity and from 1942 seventeen amalgamated Charities have formed the Abbots Bromley United Charities which continues to support Youth groups and purchase equipment for the handicapped.
John Pye died in the parish of Abbots Bromley after the majority of his children moved to that parish. He was buried on 6 September, 1681.
Baptised 26 April, 1646 Haughton – Buried 21 March, 1728 Uttoxeter.
Thomas Pye was the third son of John and Anne Pye. Thomas began his working life as a Tailor but was later termed a Yeoman. Thomas married his first wife, Anne Walkelate on 2 February, 1670 in St Nicholas church, Abbots Bromley. They had four children before Anne’s early death. Thomas married his second wife, Abigail Foster, on 24 September, 1682. They had three children, two dying as infants.
Thomas farmed tenements named Hunter’s Croft, Little Heifield and Kue Hurst, that may have been a part of Lord William Bagot’s estate. These plots of land formed part of the marriage settlement between Thomas and Abigail. Thomas Pye was named as executor in a number of his relations’ Wills, however, it was his nephew, another Thomas Pye, the son of his elder brother Robert Pye, who inherited the family land and property.
Baptised 2 February, 1679 Abbots Bromley – Buried 4 January, 1758 Stockton.
Joseph Pye was the youngest child of Thomas Pye and his first wife, Anne. Joseph’s elder brother died unmarried at 26 years of age and therefore I assume Joseph inherited his father’s lands in Abbots Bromley and was a yeoman tenant farmer.
Joseph married Catherine Reynolds on 24 February, 1703 and they had nine children, two dying as infants. Five of Joseph and Catherine’s children married, three of whom had children.
Baptised 3 May, 1722 Abbots Bromley – Buried 18 January, 1793 Baswich.
Thomas Pye was the youngest child and only surviving son of Joseph and Catherine Pye. It is not known what happened to cause the turn-a-round in the Pye’s fortunes but Thomas worked as an annual labourer, meaning he could only get manual and agricultural labouring contracts for a year at a time.
Thomas Pye was about 53 years of age when he married Margaret Lightfoot on 24 December, 1775 in Drayton-in-the-Hales in County Shropshire. They had seven children and settled in Baswich near Stafford in Staffordshire. Thomas’s financial circumstances did not improve and he died a Pauper in 1793, leaving behind his wife and five surviving children. Their two daughters were made Parish apprentices.
Born about 1776 – Buried 17 June, 1830 Baswich.
Joseph was the eldest child of Thomas and Margaret Pye. Joseph Pye married Mary Wetton in St Mary’s church, Stafford on 28 February, 1797. They had eleven children with the eldest two born in Baswich and the other nine in Rickerscote in the nearby parish of Castle Church.
Rickerscote was a rural hamlet and Joseph spent his life as an agricultural labourer. Joseph and Mary both died in their early fifties leaving their younger children to be raised by their elder children, George and Mary.
Baptised 9 July, 1797 Baswich – Died 5 September, 1880 at Kirkstall, Victoria.
Thomas Pye was the eldest child of Joseph and Mary Pye. He began labouring at a brick yard as a child. Thomas married Alice Hall on 3 May, 1819 and they had five children. They moved to Birmingham in Warwickshire where Alice died. Thomas worked in a brickyard making tiles and bricks. By 1836 Thomas was charged with house breaking and transported to New South Wales for life.
Thomas Pye was assigned to Captain Sylvester John Brown and travelled with his master to the district of Port Philip Bay in 1838. Thomas met his second wife, Mary Sampson, at the Brown’s dairy and they married on 16 October, 1843 at Melbourne. The Pyes were employed by Brown’s son, Thomas Alexander Brown, and travelled with him to the district that was later known as Bessiebelle, where their first two children were born. When Thomas received his Ticket-of-Leave the family moved to Port Fairy and a further five children were born to them. Three of their daughters died young, the other remained single and the three sons married and produced large families.
Thomas Pye worked as a farmer and also grew wheat. Mary Pye died at 62 years of age and Thomas Pye died at 83 years of age.
21 October, 1848 Port Fairy – 19 September, 1919 Died Port Fairy, Victoria
Joseph Pye was the youngest son of Thomas Pye and his second wife, Mary. Joseph spent his youth in Port Fairy prior to the family moving to Tower Hill then onto the village of Kirkstall. Joseph married Mary Ann Wiseman on 26 September, 1876 and their first four children were born in Kirkstall before Joseph obtained land at Bessiebelle where the next ten children were born. Joseph spent the remainder of his life working on his farm.
Joseph was a dedicated farmer and served a term on the local shire council lobbying to improve the opportunities for the community of Bessiebelle. He was well known as an excellent conversationalist who knew and related the history of the district.
Thomas James Pye
Born 11 July, 1877 Kirkstall, Victoria – Died 17 July, 1939 Warrnambool, Victoria
Thomas James Pye was the eldest of the fourteen children of Joseph and Mary Ann Pye. Thomas met his wife, Mary Gavin, at her parent’s property, whilst he and his brothers were on their thrashing machine round.
Thomas and Mary settled in Russell’s Creek and had thirteen children. Thomas worked at the Nestles Milk Factory. Thomas and Mary were a great example to their children of loving, caring parents who had a deep religious faith. Thomas kept in touch with his many siblings as much as he was able and at one time rode his bicycle all the way from Warrnambool to Bessiebelle to visit them. Thomas died on 17 July, 1939 at 62 years of age.